Last week I was playing shop amidst a feast of reading delights. Or, to put it more clearly, I did a few shifts on a bookstall at the Bath Literature Festival (sadly finished now for this year).
And not just any bookstall. I was working - oh, all right, volunteering - for the lovely Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights. (Seriously, check out the link to see just how therapeutic a bookstore can be.)
I hoped I was going to enjoy myself, but I never realised how much. People who like books are easy to be around. And I was surprised how swiftly I became interested in what was often not what I would expect to be my kind of book, when I saw it through the eyes of someone who could appreciate it. But mostly it was amazing to be surrounded by so many of them.
I don't think I've ever really thought before what nice things books are. They're more than visually attractive, they're tactile, designed to be picked up, opened and explored. And they have a life. I was quite upset recently to visit a craft fair where one of the products was books mutilated into becoming CD racks and suchlike. But I digress. Whole and healthy, they're nice things to sell.
This might sound a bit odd coming from someone whose last post announced her conversion to e-books - but don't get me wrong: I never meant to give up the hard stuff. Why does there always have to be a choice? Dogs or cats. The Beatles or the Stones. Shakespeare or Beckett. Why can't I have them both? I think our lives are enhanced by enjoying things in as many ways as we can.